I finally got a chance to head down and play these two courses with a friend this past weekend, and I definitely think they deserve their own thread. I only wish I had remembered my camera(definitely will next time) so I could do more justice to some of the incredible holes.
We started early on the Cypress course, and the first thing that struck me was how eerie the 'decomissioned military base' setting was- the first tee is right near a large dormitory building, one of many that wind through the course, and they're all completely deserted, with broken windows and overgrown plant life.. With the exception of seeing the occasional car drive by on a distant road, for the most part it felt very post-apocalyptic!
Playing the Cypress course entirely from the blue tees(longs), I felt it had a nice mix of lefty/righty as well as wide open/tight fairways. We didn't experience any wind, which I'm sure would have added a lot of challenge, but my buddy and I both agreed that from the long tees, the length factor is more than adequate. It felt like I was trying to throw max golf D on about 10 or 11 holes, and I particularly enjoyed how most of the long tees are elevated. The pins seemed pretty well guarded, considering that the trees are often spaced far apart. I shot a 53, and felt pretty darn good about it although I missed two of my standard <15' par putts. All in all, the course seems like a great place to introduce someone to golf(from the short tees), and from the longs it still presents a good challenge, especially in shaping longer distance shots both left to right and right to left off of the tee.
After a brief lunch break, we hit the Oaks course. The first sign that we were in for a more difficult 18 came right away- we couldn't see the first basket from the tee(whereas on the Cypress course, every basket is almost always visible right off.) We bumped into a local, and he warned us to either play some fairways very conservatively or send a spotter up, lest we lose a disc or three. Being complete masochists, we chose to play the long tees for all but two holes. While I liked the Cypress course in the morning, the Oaks course is truly fantastic. It also has a somewhat post-apocalyptic vibe, but the tree and plant cover is much thicker, making for more technical drives and difficult approaches. Highlights include a hole where you throw from a flat plain up into an oak grove that's on a mesa about 20-25' above the tee(hole 5?), followed by the only tightly wooded tunnel shot of the whole day, and then an awesome elevated tee shot, out of the oak grove and down across an abandoned baseball field, about 450ish by my eye.
The wind decided to make its presence known during our round at the Oaks course, and it seemed like from hole 7 onwards, I was throwing either a predator or a beat up valk off of the tee, depending on wind orientation. The back nine opens up quite a bit more, which naturally means the wind blows even harder, and the finishing 5 holes are especially difficult and scenic. I scraped out a 57 and was pretty stoked on not losing any discs.
At any rate, Weebl is a regular, so he will have tons more accurate and interesting info, but if anyone finds themself near Santa Cruz/Monterey and is looking for a full day of golf, these two courses are excellent. I would have to sit down and think about it more to say for sure, but I know the Oaks course definitely cracks my top 5 CA course list now that I've played it.